Neal Cassady’s Gas Station

Neal Cassady's gas station, with John's mountain in background

When I first moved to California with IBM back in 1988, we moved into a beautiful neighborhood called Almaden, a little south of San Jose. Right next door was the town of Los Gatos, the home of Neal and Carolyn Cassady. I didn’t meet the Cassady family for another five years but I spent a lot of time in picturesque Los Gatos.

Here’s a recent email exchange with my friend John Allen Cassady who is currently living in England with his mother, Carolyn, who turned 90 in April.

To: John Allen Cassady
From: Jerry Cimino
Subject: Recognize where I am?

Hey John, I picked up some LPs from an old surfer dude named Buddy who lives off of Andrews near Rose Court in Los Gatos. Now I’m heading back to Monterey via Highway 17.

Hope all is well there for you and mum, old buddy!

From: John Allen Cassady
To: Jerry Cimino
Subject: re: Recognize where I’m at?


You son of a gun! You KNOW that that is MY (and dad Neal’s) Shell station in Los Gatos, and that’s MY mountain in the distance!!! I have climbed that hill a gazillion times since (and during) high school (Steve Wozniak’s house is on top of that mountain). Great that you thought to take a photo from that perspective.

The Shell station was owned by the Sporeleder (sp?) family since, like, the ’20s, and Dad used to sweat and heave tires down there, when they were the only place with compressed air around during the ’50s. I spent many an hour there, watching dad doing his tire “karma.” I’m glad to see that they are still there, and give them my best regards next time you stop by. Thanks…

(Jerry, post this on your web site—I’ll bet there are many who remember!…) JC